Imagination, Quadrangle work remotely, alter production plans


Camille McFarland

Imagination has converted their Spring Issue into a series of online folios.

Olivia Doan, Staff Writer

The novel coronavirus pandemic and social distancing orders have inspired waves of creativity, ranging from finding new food combinations to creating online parody videos. Despite the pandemic, Imagination, the St. John’s student literary journal, has inspired the student body by digitizing creativity.

To continue supporting student creative writers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Imagination has digitized its issues, which are featured on the weekly infographics. In alignment with the administration’s requests, Editors-in-Chief Tyler King and Alexa Theofanidis decided to publish the issue as a series of shorter folios, mini-magazines. 

“By the end of spring break, we all knew that it wasn’t going to be possible for us to run a second issue in print, so we quickly started thinking of alternatives,” King said.

According to Theofanidis, digitization grants more liberty in the magazine’s layout. Because printing in color is costly, the online folios allow for more boldness and vibrancy in the design. The ability to use a greater number of photos and artwork has also allowed the magazine to take on themes for its folios. 

“In [the] first issue, we united the pieces around a sense of derailment, so we used monochromes and dark blues, whereas in our second issue, we went bolder with primary colors,” Theofanidis said. 

According to poetry editor Liv Rubenstein, the smaller size of the folios makes pairing pieces more challenging. Editors typically try to put pieces with similar ideas near each other or on the same page, but with the shortened folio format, some poems and pieces had to be separated. 

Theofanidis says that while the selection of pieces continues to be merit-based, editors must now consider how the piece plays with others in the smaller layout.

According to King, while the platform that used to publish the journal mimicked a printed publication and preserved the integrity of the design with a cover and two-page layout, a digitized magazine is not the same as a printed magazine.

“There’s something unique you get as a student creative writer when you see your pieces physically printed,” King said.

Despite social distancing and virtual schooling, Imagination attempts to keep writers and students in touch through creativity. King says that the shorter folios allow for the student body to constantly interact with writing, and virtual meetings between authors and editors continue to motivate the writers. 

Theofanidis expressed her excitement about the new Writing Circle—a weekly collaborative, online space for writers to share their pieces. Theofanidis says that in response to COVID-19, Imagination created the Writing Circle to keep students connected and to maintain a support system.

As Imagination transitions online during the pandemic, the status of yearbook distribution remains up in the air. Currently, the Balfour, which publishes Quadrangle, is closed due to COVID-19. Quadrangle adviser Suzanne Webb hopes that Balfour will open this summer so students can receive their yearbooks in August.

Per tradition, seniors are the first to view the yearbook, and are scheduled to receive their books after Baccalaureate on Aug. 9. The distribution date for grades K-11 is currently undecided.

“Although COVID-19 has delayed the distribution of the books, we know as soon as the students open the book they will enjoy seeing the pictures, watching the videos and reliving the memories of the 2019-2020 school year,” Webb said.